Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How is this covered in the employee handbook?

I'm referring to individuals (other than cops) who are licensed to carry a concealed handgun in states where that's legal. Surely, Gannett prohibits handguns and other weapons on company property, right?

My question isn't merely academic. It was prompted by an employee's online posting yesterday, where she says she made short work of a panhandler she found menacing.

The employee didn't say where the following took place, however:

"I'm glad I carry now," she wrote around 7 p.m. local time. "Just had to 'show' my .38 to get some dude begging for money to get the F away from me."

[Photo: a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .38, suggested price $509; "carry more comfortably, walk more confidently."]

What's the employee handbook say? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.


  1. When I worked at Gannett, we were told we weren't allowed to bring firearms on the premises. That was all firearms on any company premises, including rifles and shotguns in our cars in the parking ramp.

    It certainly included handguns in the building. Several people I knew routinely carried handguns (with the required permits) but didn't bring them into the building and tried to keep it from their supervisors.

  2. I agree that on private property, that property owner has the right to limit what comes on to that property, but to me that right stops at the front door. The Constitution says we have the right to bear arms. Why is that so hard for people to understand?
    You don't want "me" to carry a gun into your building...fine. I'll respect that. But what I keep in my vehicle is my business, so long as I don't break any laws.

  3. It doesn't matter what the handbook says in Indiana, we have the right to carry our firearm to work and keep it locked in our vehicle and can refuse to answer any questions our employer may have regarding whether or not we have one in our vehicle parked on company owned property.

  4. The recent passing of concealed carry in Wisconsin resulted in signage at all our properties prohibiting firearms in the building, guests and employees. Our handbook has always prohibited weapons, including firearms, from the buildings.

    State law supersedes if the weapon is in your secured vehicle.

    How that plays out for people working outside the building, I'd be curious to find out but not so curious as to test myself.

    Though we might be pushing revenue up if our sales reps wore a six gun on their hip... (:

  5. RE 11:52 . . . I respect the Second Amendment and the right to carry as much as anyone. But . . .

    Employers CAN ban firearms from your vehicle ON business property. For you folks working in smaller towns out West, check out your local Post Office. The Post Office bans firearms on its property, including in YOUR CAR in the parking lot. You will be fired. No if, ands, or "I forgots".

    So how do hunters and people who just feel safer with a firearm deal with that? They park off-site. Across the street, in a field.

    On the other hand, that puts the onus on the employer to provide a safe work environment. Being assaulted on the property by a bum or employee is a fast trip to lawsuit lotto.

    Considering the temperament of carriers in the middle of the night, I'm surprised every DC doesn't have armed security.

  6. About the post office parking issue -- of course, USPS has explained that, right?

    Of course not. Big bureaucrats issue a zillion rules, then zap you when they like. Sort of like "double-secret probation." Stupidity on a grand scale -- helps make Page 1 headlines, sells newspapers, and makes journalism employment a recurring matter. How's that line at the DMV, or Social Security, or the VA?

    A lot of GCI buildings are in crappy parts of town. It can be scary. You're screwed if you defend yourself and screwed if you don't. Gracia don't care - she's getting her money.

    Jim - why not a contest on most-unsafe GCI parking lot?

  7. A Louisiana state law allows people to have firearms in their vehicles, even on work property. Gannett properties in Louisiana actually designated "firearms parking" spaces in their lots.

  8. A cameraman was fired at WXIA-TV in Atlanta a few weeks ago after management found out he had a handgun in his car in the company parking lot.

  9. Constitutional rights in the workplace? Hah.

  10. If you keep your mouth shut, and don't blab it thru the building, who's going to know??

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  12. Reminds me of the time (very pre-carry law days) when police reporter at Southwestern newpaper routinely packed his "Betsy" on duty. One night it few out of his pocket and fired ... hole remained in newsroom wall for years.

  13. The Miami Herald (a McClatchy paper) used to have three parking lots, a former colleague once told me.
    They all had nicknames:
    Closest: The "mug me" lot.
    Next one: The "rob me" lot.
    Farthest one: The "rape me" lot.

  14. Wait - someone used a gun to threaten a guy because he was begging for change? Did I miss something or is this completely crazy? If you don't want to give a panhandler change, just keep walking.

  15. 10:26, you did miss something. Post clearly explained the bum was shoving his face into her space. Paranoids do that.

    Bums these days have no limits. Fits the "broken window" theory. Don't do anything -- situation spins out of control. Defecate in public. Block subway entrances. Yell at non-smokers, "hey, gimme a cigarette."

    These people don't want homeless shelters. They don't want to follow anyone's rules. It is a mess.

  16. Brandishing is a crime in most places. She's lucky the homeless guy didn't summon police, which would have been within his rights.
    Are "managers" packing heat now?

  17. I worked in a rural bureau. I kept one in the car always. I had to go through a lotta hollers and cricks where even cops would not venture alone. Never had to touch it in 8 years. I found that offering a taste from the bottle of Jack Black was more of a problem solver, or resolver.

  18. Here is the question: We've all worked with people that we thought could go "Postal" in the blink of an eye. Did you rely hope that THAT guy had a gun in his car at your building? In sorry I don't want guns in the building or in cars in the parking lot. This isn't a Gannett issue people, it's a safety issue. Our safety.

  19. 9:17, you are the epitome of dumb. The workplace can regulate any number of things that the government cannot. If you call your supervisor a dumbass, and that person has no sense of humor, something will happen to you. Freedom of speech does not shield you in that situation.

    Guns in the workplace are a fatality waiting to happen. If you are ignorant enough to think that anyone who carries a gun is an expert at handling it, then you should think again. The cowboys want us to believe that, but they are wrong.

    Cool it with the "I'm being oppressed!" stuff.

  20. I know of district managers in circulation that carry guns while working overnight for safety. I can't blame them.

  21. Some years back at our site in Florida, having a gun in your car was a fire able offense. Then came the "Stand your ground" law and it superseded the local policy. The law, also known as the Castle Doctrine, allow you to defend yourself and yours and others in immediate danger from another person or persons with deadly force. The intend of the law was to allow you to defend yourself and not flee from a dangerous situation, and here is where the word Castle comes into play. It includes your home, your vehicle and the personal "space" around in a public area (excluding post offices, court house and so on...), and the parking lots around our building are indeed public and trumps any company rule in place.
    Inside the building is private property, and the owner/tenant set the rules there.

  22. 5:40, that's the thrust of the Geo. Zimmerman case. Also some cases in Texas.

    To those daylight critics of this -- try working nights in neighborhoods that armed cops only enter in teams. Be sure to have good life insurance, you'll need it. That's not theory, that's reality, politicians.

  23. How do we know this employee was even working or on Gannett property at the time this was posted? It may have been during a vacation, day off, or during 1 of the 16 hours a day they are not working.

    It's a big ado about nothing.

  24. Years ago in Memphis, Tenn., a friend and I were held up at gunpoint on a sidewalk. The thief took $60 from my wallet, then ran away.

    We were unarmed and survived the incident uninjured.

    In that situation, my having a handgun would not have improved the outcome. If anything, it might have only made it worse.

  25. Again, how do we know this employee was on Gannett property? How do we know it happened during work hours? She had a gun, she had a permit to have a gun, and she did not use it. There's nothing unlawful about it. The world has changed since 2008, and it sure isn't for the better.

    If Gannett policy says no guns on property and she had it in the office, then there is a story.

    Let's take this further. Many Gannett circulation district managers work from home. If Gannett says no guns in the office, and the office is in the employees home, how does that work?

    1. 6:48 pleassssssse

  26. 6:48 As I wrote in my post, the employee didn't say where the incident took place.

  27. Jim @ 6:48, OK, you're anti-gun. Fine.

    You're not working at night in crappy neighborhoods, fearing for your life, on a daily basis.

    IMHO, those in nice, safe offices have no right to make decisions for those who work in crappy neighborhoods.

    As for those psychos who shoot up schools, theaters, USPS buildings -- being armed can help, you know that there are those cases also. Like this --

    Start letting people cry DANGER-DANGER-DANGER for any penny-ante thing in a small mind -- HR dept. will become huge, no profits. And no jobs. Take that to the bank.

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  29. I have a secret weapon in my pants.

  30. Just to clarify, coming from the person that did this, I was not on Gannett property at the time. However, working in one of the worst neighborhoods nationally is not something I enjoy. I don't carry into the building. As far as if somoene thought I went too far... I was in my car with my door open at a non-busy gas station. I was in fear as this person would not go away or back away as I was getting gas. I couldn't simple walk away and say I don't want to give you any money. He persisted and kept getting WAY too close even after I said twice to go away. It was not brandishing, as someone said. I felt threatened by the crazy begger getting closer and closer and more aggitated as I said No, and he went away after that. Period...


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